ISAAC Tribute to Eileen Scamehorn 2/9/21
The laughs we had and the ways we were inspired are captured in this video of ISAAC leaders remembering Eileen Scamehorn. Don’t miss this lovely tribute to her and the impact she had on ISAAC and on Westwood United Methodist Church’s important role in ISAAC:
Words in Remembrance of Dr. C.G. Charles
It is only because of the ISAAC one on one process that the gift of meeting Dr. Charles came my way. And meeting him, listening to his story, laughing together, and looking into the deep matters that had been and continued to be his North Star throughout his life of ministry became significant
for my own journey of faith as a Christian and as a person active in the work of building a more
just community through the vehicle ISAAC offered. As we were beginning the organization Dr. Charles was high on my list of people to meet. I was deeply grateful when he said yes to a sit down with me at North Church. He told me so many stories of his relationship with Rev. Bob Rasmussen and the North Presbyterian congregation through the years, via the NAACP, the NMA, and other community efforts to befriend and engage young people living on the north and east sides of Kalamazoo. I marveled at his work as a journalist early in his life. He was always probing deeply into the why of things. I so loved that about him. I loved as well that Tabernacle and North teamed up for a series of gatherings and services to live into Dr. King’s Dream of building the Beloved Community. Meeting him was to meet history, hope, and a generous spirit all rolled up in one human being. I pray his spirit of love, compassion and commitment to justice live on in all of us
who received the blessing of knowing him.
Rev. Linda MacDonald
I would just like to take a moment to honor a man who has been a mentor and father to me for 30 years. Dr. C. G. Charles who served as the pastor of Tabernacle C.O.G.I.C. for nearly 40 years was a unique man. He was a quiet man but his silence was powerful and you knew when he spoke that he had something important to say. He was a man who loved God and loved God’s people. He was a mentor to so many leaders in our community. I honor him for his lifelong service and what he meant to so many people. Pastor Charles, you will truly be missed and I’m forever grateful for the impact that you had on my life.
From a grateful son,
Elder Douglas King
Dr. C.G. Charles, my childhood Pastor, arrived at Tabernacle COGIC when I was 4 or 5 years old. Over the years as I grew up from a child into a teenager and young adult, I had fond memories of Pastor. One included a Pastoral Appreciation Day where Elder King was the Masters of Ceremony and I, as a pre-teen, delivered a speech entitled, “What My Pastor Means To Me.” Dr. Charles was a quiet man with a sense of humor. He was a strong man of faith who loved God and was dedicated to social justice. It was not uncommon to hear Pastor in his sermons take the realities of injustices and incorporate them with faith. He had a way of seeing the gifts God had given you and speaking to those gifts. Even after coming back to Kalamazoo 17 years later, it was as if I never left. Dr. Charles and First Lady Fannie Charles shared with me the same love, support and open arms that I remembered as a child. He will be greatly missed. Sending love and prayers to First Lady, Michael, Gena, Freeda, Roy and our Tabernacle family and friends.
Dr. C.G. Charles was a man after God’s own heart. Although he was soft spoken, he carried a big stick for the Lord. The Kalamazoo community has been richly blessed because of the work done by him and his beautiful wife First Lady Fannie Charles. He will be truly missed.
Wendy Fields, President
Some years ago, I recall warmly when ISAAC held one of our big meetings at Dr. Charles church, through the generosity of his support. Although I have forgotten now which meeting it was and what transpired there, what I recall most is the beautiful hospitality we all received. Many people from the congregation were there to welcome us as we came in, to assist in all the logistics, to make us comfortable and support the meeting needs.
I also remember hearing Dr. Charles’ words, always spoken with a quiet, firm resolve and a kindness that could be felt.
First Lady Fannie has attended many ISAAC meetings on his and the congregation’s behalf, and brings her sincere and warm participation to them all. I am always reminded about the deep and continuing impact that Dr. Charles’ ministry and leadership has played and will continue to play in our community and in ISAAC’s work, through his lifelong influence in the development of 3 servant leaders who have provided so much–Dr. Charlae Davis, Elder King, and Bishop Cunningham. Such a deep and enduring and beloved legacy. I trust this brought him joy, to see the qualities that were important to him live on in your leadership.
Still today, when I drive up Mt. Olivet and pass Virginia Avenue, I feel a warm sense of home – that his church is also a home for me.
Rochelle Habeck, People’s Church representative to ISAAC Leadership Board
I did not get to know the Reverend Dr. Charles but I had occasion to meet First Lady Fannie Charles. She was always so kind and welcoming. She always smiled and spoke when she saw me. I am sure everyone else who was more on the edge of her acquaintance felt the same. I know that she as well as their friends and congregants must feel a great loss in his passing.
Our hearts go out to the whole Tabernacle COGIC family, and especially to First Lady Fannie Charles on the passing of Dr. C.G. Charles. Because of Dr. Charles’ leadership, Tabernacle has been a very important part of the ISAAC family of congregations and organizations since we first came together to build the Beloved Community. Dr. Charles and First Lady Charles (and Bettie Edmonds) were very welcoming, gracious hosts when ISAAC held our Re-Covenanting Ceremony at Tabernacle, with all the planning and rehearsal needed before that event. We are most especially grateful, as well, that Tabernacle has inspired so much ISAAC leadership–as the church that nurtured our past ISAAC President Bishop Daniel Cunningham, current President Elder Doug King, and ISAAC Executive Director Dr. Charlae Davis! Personally, I have felt warmly welcomed when I have worshipped at Tabernacle a few times over the years. I particularly remember the Sunday morning I went to Tabernacle back when Dr. Charlae Davis had interviewed for the job of ISAAC Executive Director, but was thinking of taking another job instead. Of all the people there, the Holy Spirit led me to sit beside Mrs. Auga Davis, Dr. Charlae’s mother! I got to tell her after church how much I hoped her daughter would accept our job. I went to Tabernacle feeling very tired that day, but after Dr. C.G.Charles’ sermon, the inspiring music, the welcome Tabernacle members gave me, and the joy of meeting Dr. Charlae’s mother, I came away feeling refreshed and re-energized. Thank you Tabernacle. We are sending prayers of love and support to you.
– Tobi Hanna-Davies